EMPIRICAL RESEARCH METHODS (PG)

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMG212231
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The Course famliarises students with the main modes and techniques, both qualitative and quantitative, whereby research is pursued in the Social Sciences. All students to follow a central core element but can also develop an emphasis on those particular methods which are more relevant to their own interests or to the main disciplines they study.

Syllabus

The course syllabus (weeks 1-8) will cover:The scope of research methods in social sciences qualitative and quantitative approaches.Qualitative research methods: entering the field; analysis of documents; conduct of unstructured interviews; observer roles; coding qualitative matieral; writing up qualitative research. Ethical issues in Social Research.Survey methods: generating research questions, survey design - questionnaries and isssues of sampling , conduct of field work, analysis of surveys - tabulation, cross-tabulation, descriptive and inferential analyses, writing up survey reports.For the last 4 weeks students may choose between:a. Preparation of Research Proposal (for those interested in pursuing their own piece of research).b. Secondary Analysis: Archival sources and on-line acces to data for secondary analysis. Working with large data sets - census and government data sets.c. Experimental Design and Analysis: Principles and problems, use of analysis of variance, non-parametric tests.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to:- Generate and clarify an appropriate research question/hypothesis. - Choose an approriate research design & method of data collection.- Draft & present a coherent research proposal.- Understand the differences between commonly used methods of analysis in social sciences - apply different techniques of analysis, interpret output and write up findings fully.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Appropriate combination of Lectures, Seminars and Computing Lab.

Indicative Reading

Robson, C : Real World Research : Blackwell 1993Gray, C D & Kinnear, P R : SPSS for Macintosh Made Simple : Psychology Press 1998Gilbert, N (ed) (1993): Researching Social Life : Sage Nachmias, C & Nachmias D (1992) Research Methods in the Social Sciences : Edward Arnoldde Vaus, D 1990 : Surveys in Social Research : Unwin Hyman Hammersly, M (ed) (1993 : Social Research - Politics & Practice : SageDale, A (et al) (1988) : Doing Secondary Analysis :Unwin Hyman

Transferrable Skills

- basic facility with the widely used SPSS data analysis package- confidence in working in groups- skills in report writing both quantitative & qualitative

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 60.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 25.00 45% Statistical Assignment
Coursework 0.00 25.00 45% Statistical Assignment
Coursework 0.00 25.00 45% Statistical Assignment
Coursework 0.00 25.00 45% Statistical Assignment